HISD's $1.89 billion bond proposal would affect 42 schools, likely raise taxes

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by Courtney Zubowski / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on June 21, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 21 at 6:20 PM

HOUSTON -- The Houston Independent School District presented the largest bond package in the city’s history to the school board Thursday.

Forty-two schools, including 24 high schools, across Houston would be affected by the $1.89 billion proposal.

The board must decide by August whether to seek approval from voters in the Nov. 6 general election.

The proposal calls for $577 million to replace eight high schools including Furr, High School for Performing and Visual Arts, Lee, Madison, Sharpstown, Sterling, Booker T. Washington and Yates.

HSPVA would be moved from its Montrose location to a plot of land in the 1300 block of Capitol in downtown Houston.

The District would also like to use about $550 million to replace inadequate facilities at Lamar, Sam Houston, Austin, Eastwood Academy, Milby, Waltrip, Worthing and Bellaire.

The improvements at Bellaire could include a parking garage for students.

"Houston’s prosperity of today is rooted in the historic high schools erected generations ago by our city’s visionary leaders who knew the value of a solid long-term investment," said HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier. "Now is the time for today’s generation to step up and follow their lead. Houston’s high schools should be places of pride for every neighborhood and, more importantly, the students they serve."

The billion dollar plan also calls for $126 million to replace five elementary schools including Askew, Condit, Kelso, MacGregor and Parker.

A proposed $225 million in district wide projects include technology upgrades at all HISD schools, district athletic facility improvements, middle school restroom renovations and safety and security improvements.

If an election is called and voters approve the bond proposal, HISD would likely plan for a property tax rate increase. The average tax hike would be about $100 a year, according to HISD.

The increase would not have an impact on the homesteads of HISD residents 65 and older.

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